Emerald leads €6.2M investment in Vytal to fuel the reusable packaging revolution

Cologne, Germany Climate tech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures has invested into Vytal, the leading provider of software-enabled reusable packaging solutions. The €6.2M round, led by Emerald, was joined by Ventis, Grazia Equity, Kiko Ventures and Rubio. The new funding enables Vytal to accelerate its efforts in transforming the packaging industry.

Vytal’s Managing Directors: (from left) Dr. Fabian Barthel, Dr. Josephine Kreische, and Dr. Tim Breker.

66 billion single-use food and drink containers are wasted annually in the EU. And regulations, such as the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), are pushing the industry towards a circular economy. With a strong focus on sustainability and efficiency, Vytal’s technology platform is designed to replace single-use packaging with innovative reusable solutions that create value for all stakeholders along the circular value chain of reusables – including raw material suppliers, consumers and professional cleaning hubs.

Dr. Tim Breker, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Vytal, expresses his enthusiasm about the new partnership, stating, We’re thrilled to take on board Emerald, a very experienced investor with a phenomenal network of corporate partners. Transforming the packaging industry towards circularity is a massive business opportunity and Vytal’s technology platform is positioned to win. We have established ourselves as thought leaders in the field and are looking forward to accelerating our collaboration with various industry partners. We understand the conditions under which reuse outperforms single-use and focus on leveraging software and data to maximize the economic benefits of reusables for all our customers and across use cases.”

Within dense networks and in closed loops, the advantages of reusable over single-use are particularly prominent. Corporate and university campuses, business districts, airports, city centers, shopping malls, trade fairs, festivals and other event & entertainment venues can easily switch to Vytal-powered reusable packaging saving valuable resources, while decreasing costs. Additionally, Vytal operates an open system of reusable packaging across restaurants and canteens in 17 countries. This allows consumers to borrow and return high-quality reusable containers from and to thousands of partner locations for free.

In a large-scale pilot of Vytal’s wholly owned subsidiary Vytal Events & Entertainment Solutions GmbH at this year’s OMR Festival in Hamburg, 70,000 event participants enjoyed all their ready-to-consume food and drinks from Vytal’s smart reusables. Thanks to Vytal’s individually traceable cups and food containers, handling reusables becomes highly efficient, saving considerable time during checkout and allowing for unmanned return processes. This cuts down on both staff needs for organizers and on waiting times for consumers. Professional washing centers equally benefit from Vytal’s RFID-equipped reusable containers, e.g. enabling automated instead of manual container counting.

Vytal operated at the UEFA European Football Championships Fanzones in 3 stadium locations, including Berlin.

“Unmanned checkout and return handling as well as transparent data collection and automated processes along the circular value chain are key to completely eliminating single-use packaging from the life of our B2B customers and end consumers. We foresee a future, in which reuse is the default food and drink packaging on campuses, inside the Quick Service Restaurant industry and across the event & entertainment industry,” highlights Dr. Josephine Kreische, Managing Director of VYTAL Events & Entertainment Solutions and VYTAL Global responsible for the Tech, Product and Marketing teams.

Fredric Petit, Partner at Emerald Technology Ventures, adds, “The Vytal management team has combined great visionary and strategic thinking with strong execution power. Vytal’s solution perfectly aligns with our conviction regarding reusable packaging. In a recent Emerald Packaging Sprint with our corporate partners, we concluded that software and data are the key value drivers of reuse, so we’re very excited to join the Vytal team on their mission to scale the adoption of reuse by leveraging technology to unlock its economic and ecological benefits.”

With the Vytal deal, Emerald takes a big step into the reuse ecosystem, a crucial element of circularity. This slice of the circular economy will likely enjoy bumper growth in the years ahead. According to one analysis, the global returnable packaging market was worth $109 billion in 2022 and could grow by 6% each year between 2023 and 2030.

Read the media coverage:

Cologne-based Vytal secures €6.2 million to expand its tech platform for circular reusable packaging | EU-Startups

Verpackungen: Vytal – Digitales Mehrweggeschirr für EM-Fanzonen (handelsblatt.com)

About Emerald Technology Ventures

Emerald is a globally recognized venture capital firm, founded in 2000, that manages and advises assets of over €1 billion from its offices in Zurich, Toronto and Singapore. The firm invests in start-ups that tackle big challenges in climate change and sustainability, with four current funds, hundreds of venture transactions and four third-party investment mandates, including loan guarantees to over 100 start-ups.

This is Emerald.

Bold Ideas. Bright Future.  www.emerald.vc

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About VYTAL Global GmbH

VYTAL Global GmbH is dedicated to eliminating single-use packaging through its advanced reusable solutions. Leveraging cutting-edge software and data analytics, Vytal provides efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable packaging options that benefit businesses and the environment alike. Vytal’s data model is internationally recognized by the Harvard Business Review and the company has established itself as a pioneer in the industry, leading the change towards the circular economy. Vytal collaborates with 7000+ partners in 17 countries worldwide to reduce the use of single-use packaging and promote sustainable alternatives.

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About VYTAL Events & Entertainment Solutions GmbH

Vytal recently launched VyEES (VYTAL Events & Entertainment Solutions GmbH), a wholly-owned subsidiary aimed at extending its reusable packaging solutions to the events and entertainment industry. This initiative underscores Vytal’s commitment to sustainability across various sectors, providing innovative solutions that meet the needs of large-scale events and entertainment venues. Noticeable customers of VyEES include the Berlinale, the Online Marketing Rockstar “OMR” Festival and the Cruilla Music Festival in Barcelona.

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